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Building responsible intelligent creative kids (B.R.I.C.K.): a case study of a teacher-initiated public school reform model in Newark, New Jersey.

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TitleInfo
Title
Building responsible intelligent creative kids (B.R.I.C.K.): a case study of a teacher-initiated public school reform model in Newark, New Jersey.
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Knauer
NamePart (type = given)
Dorothy
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1954
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Dorothy Knauer
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author
Name (type = personal)
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Backstrand
NamePart (type = given)
Jeffrey R.
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Jeffrey R. Backstrand
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
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chair
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Rutgers University
Role
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degree grantor
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NamePart
Graduate School - Newark
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school
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theses
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2020
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2020-10
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO 639-3:2007); (type = text)
English
Abstract
It is a complex task to educate children and appropriately measure achievement even under ideal circumstances. However, attempts to do so in desperately poor urban environments must consider the many variables that impact learning if we are to help children succeed. Even where there is strong will to make things better, there also may be an urgency to produce immediate results that makes assessment of the big picture or broad effects difficult. This case study follows the first four years of a school turnaround model in Newark, NJ. The study goes beyond student test scores to observe and document efforts to change the school environment, impact teacher/staff/parent attitudes and skills, and assess the reform effort in the words of those who participated. A teacher–led group promised to turn around one of the state’s lowest performing and most impoverished schools. The founders, all teachers and former Teach For America alumni, created an organization based on best practices and dedicated to the success of neighborhood children. They named their educational non–profit B.R.I.C.K.—Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids—which is both its name and its mission. Mixed methods of data collection included the analysis 200 parent surveys, 40 teacher surveys, 40 interviews with teachers, staff and parents; archives and documents; and field observations.

Results suggest that when sustained focus on early literacy instruction and achievement is accomplished, more students learn to read at a higher level of competency in spite of extreme factors working against their success (e.g., poverty, transiency, chronic absenteeism, special needs). That said, administrators should be wary of over–interpreting single year test scores after implementing major reform, because complex factors can influence a school in a single academic year. Norm–referenced and criterion–referenced student achievement data, lessons learned by administrators, teachers, and staff, challenges, implications for best practices and resulting recommendations are presented. In an era of loss of local control of education and increased emphasis on accountability, the present study of a neighborhood–based, teacher–led school “turnaround” model provides potential guidance and inspiration to practitioners, policy makers, parents, and local citizens.
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Topic
Educational change
Subject (authority = local)
Topic
School reform
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Urban Systems
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
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Graduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10002600001
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ETD_11172
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doi:10.7282/t3-bd6b-qd08
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (xxxix, 796 pages)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
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Includes bibliographical references
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Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Knauer
GivenName
Dorothy
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Permission or license
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2020-09-21 11:54:04
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Dorothy Knauer
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School - Newark
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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Technical

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2020-09-21T19:41:21
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2020-09-21T19:41:21
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